What to Do When the World Snows You In

You think about the good ol’ days; when life was simple. Just you, your bike, and maybe a long sleeved jersey to take the bite off of the wind as you descended into the desert from on high. Oh wait, that was two days ago… ;-)

Sorry, just couldn’t resist the poke at all those who are getting snowed in. We got snow this morning and yesterday early, but it’s largely gone now. It’ll keep me from the mountain bike trails for a bit longer, but the roads should be in top shape soon with temperatures nearly 50 on Saturday and Sunday. Gotta love Februaries like this :-)

Monday I decided to spend a good part of the afternoon communing with my masochistic side. I parked at the stop of the Painted Desert loop just off of 89, and rode down, down, down. 35 minutes worth. There’s some rollers the first few miles, but about mile 6 as you go around the cinder cone it starts headed down. Somewhere along there I topped out at 40 mph. Mind you, that’s with a compact crank! If I was rolling the big gears I’m sure you could scream down near 50 mph.

This has to be one of my favorite rides so far. 13 miles of down, 13 miles of up. Like I said, there’s 5 miles with no sustained climbs, but the rest of it is just a steady climb. The whole scenic loop is 35 miles. If you hop back on 89, it turns into 46 round trip, but I’m thinking an out and back might be fun.

Here’s the ride data… The elevation profile has a remarkable resemblance to what one mega-best seller referred to as a chalice

And since posts with pictures seem to get the most comments, here’s a few I snapped on the ride.

Starting Out

Yup - that’s snow on the ground. And it was 45 degrees! :-)

Danger - Curvy Excitement Ahead

Oh baby! If only there was a peleton chasing me and I was the lone man in a break away. That horizon out there in the distance, that’s where the road leads (well, half way there).

Headed Back Up the Mountain

The mountain at the top of the road is where I’m headed, the mountain to the right is Humphrey’s (and a nice little 12k mas y menos). Note the scenery change. I’m in a juniper forest instead of a pine forest now.

Gratuitous Self-Portrait at Arm’s Length

Note DaShuffle! The coolest birthday present I scored this year. Here I’m rocking away to something good, probably one of Mahokey’s tunes.

Humphrey’s Framed by Pines

Just a few miles from where I started. This is taken just west of the Cinder Hills Lookout.

P.S. Mom - sorry… I just couldn’t resist. :-D